-This is from my post on 8 Goes Green.-
The Bloombox is an amazing piece of technology, but is it really going to be the savior to our energy and carbon emissions problems?
On 60 Minutes last Sunday, the Bloombox was announced. You can read the story or watch the video for more info on the box. Essentially, the fuel cell technology takes fuel (natural gas, bio gas, solar) and oxygen and produces enough power for a home, a building, a business or whatever depending on how many boxes you have. The power is then transferred without wires or transmission lines.
In the video you see that a few major businesses such as Google and eBay have begun using the boxes to power their offices; and it has proven to save them money. The boxes still require fuel, but is flexible enough that renewable bio gas and landfill gas can be used. eBay reported that the boxes were using half as much gas and were outproducing the solar panels that cover much of their campus.
The fact of the matter is that the boxes still require a fuel input and still produce carbon dioxide. Bio gas can be considered clean because the plants are replanted and theoretically absorb the carbon dioxide produced. Beyond that, the Bloomboxes are still not carbon-neutral and not on the same level of clean as solar and wind. On the other side, wind and solar are not on the same level of energy output. But technology will be improving in both areas, so maybe they’ll meet in the middle.
These miracle boxes are still incredibly expensive and years away from mass production and affordability. For now, we’ll leave Bloomboxes to large companies that can afford those kind of investments.
It’s too early to start planning where you’ll put your box, but it is a perfect time to start thinking of creative ways to produce your own power. More importantly, innovations like this are stepping stones for widespread energy upgrades. Check out the “green tips” in the meantime and see if using renewable energy at your house is an option.